The survivors of Day 1A and Day 1B joined together to play the first Day 2 of the WSOP Main Event. In total 1,624 of the 5,000 remaining players dueled it out to see who would survive to the third day of poker’s most important tournament.
Nobody cares about the leaderboard at this stage of the event. There are too many more days to play, too many opportunities and too many pitfalls for players before the event reduces in size to the point where the potential victors can be identified.
Except maybe the players who are already doing well, who are already positioning themselves for a chance to pick up a substantial piece of the $60 million prize pool.
The players that make the Final Table are all guaranteed payouts of over $1 million. Amar Anand is currently at the head of that pack, and is the only player to rack up a stack of over 600,000 chips. Over half a million chips after two day’s play is impressive poker, but it is still well short of what will be required to get to the seven-figure payouts. The shortest Final Table chip stack last year was the 12,125,000 held by Bruno Politano.
Of those whose dreams of glory are more likely to be based on past experience, Brian Hastings may be in with the best chance of continuing his early success to the final table.
Hastings finished the day in tenth place with 367,300 chips. He has the Big MO—the momentum, which despite all the belief that poker is a game of statistics where the cards have no memory, seems to run in waves which carry a player from success to success.
Hastings may be at the center of a storm about multi-accounting on PokerStars, but this year he has won two WSOP gold bracelets, and made four WSOP Final Tables. His bracelet victories weren’t even his biggest paydays. Hastings’ 11th place finish in the High Roller for One Drop event presented him his richest victory of the Series with $332,593.
A solid performance in the Main Event could well be enough to give him the GPI WSOP Player of the Year award. Hastings is currently ranked 5th, behind Mike Gorodinsky and Anthony Zinno who top the leaderboard in first and second place respectively.
British player Jake Cody and William Kakon are two former bracelet winners who finished the day high up the rankings. Mike Matusow has four WSOP bracelets, and he would dearly love to win this event—he may have more than just a dream, as he ended the day in 86th place with 200,700 chips.
Of the many celebrities who entered this year’s Main Event, cricketer Shane Warne looks to have the best chances of a high finish. He has managed to accumulate 247,000 chips to reach 46th place on the leaderboard.
A number of players who are more recognizable as online poker heroes have also made their way to the higher strata of the rankings. Christian Harder is in 59th place, and Fedor “CrownUpGuy” Holz is in 18th place.
Several former Main Event winners remain in the field, with 2010 champion Jonathon Duhamel sitting with the biggest stack of 177,400 chips.
The second Day 2 should clear out the field and begin to create the first truly big stacks as the money bubble comes within sight. 1,000 players will make the money, but a min-cash will only come as a disappointment to players who are now dreaming of the $7,680,021 first prize.